Injury crisis forces Bok coach into policy change

Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has changed a policy of not choosing foreign-based players by calling up Ireland-based prop CJ van der Linde for the injury-hit tour of Europe.

Van der Linde plays for European champions Leinster and has been drafted into a 37-strong squad that lost the entire front row of the team defeated 22-17 at Leicester Tigers on Friday.

Injured props Gurthro Steenkamp and Jannie du Plessis and hooker-cum-captain Chiliboy Ralepelle have returned home, the South African Rugby Union said on Sunday.

Free State Cheetahs hooker Adriaan Strauss and prop Wian du Preez, considered unlucky not the make the original touring party, have also been called up by the reigning world and Tri-Nations champions.

The De Villiers policy of not considering Europe-based players meant no places on the five-game Europe tour for fullback Francois Steyn from Paris club Racing-Metro and centre Jean de Villiers from Irish province Munster.

South Africa play Tests against France (November 13), Italy (November 21) and Ireland (November 28) and also meet English Premiership club Saracens on November 17 at Wembley Stadium in London.—AFP

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